REVIEW: The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd

By Dani Redd
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: 9th December 2021
Format: ARC (381 pages)

A copy of The Arctic Curry Club was included in a lovely surprise package from Avon Books. I knew little to nothing about the book or author. So, when I decided that I needed a little light read, I picked up this cosy, wintery book and prepared myself for, what I thought would be a light hearted, fish out of water, feisty female lead conquers all read. Though this book does have many of these elements, The Arctic Curry Club contains heart, warmth and is just an all round great book, that I highly recommend on these cold wintery nights.

The book centers around Maya, who has followed her boyfriend from England to the Arctic for his work. She quickly finds out that she may not be cut out for life in the Arctic wilderness, but refuses to scurry back “home”. This is partially down to the fact that Maya has suffered series anxiety and panic attacks since her childhood and also partially due to wanting to prove to herself and others that she can attempt to make a go of things. In her past professional life, she worked in a kitchen in a restaurant, which leads her to taking on the role of cook for a group of Cabins run by Mikkel called “The End of The Road Cabins”. It is through this job that Maya ends up using and adapting her later mothers recipes, while not only finding herself, but also making new friends in Mikkel, Adam and Rita (who help at the resort).

What I really enjoyed about this book is Maya’s journey. The author is able to convey the self isolation and anxiety that Maya is going through. Not only from being in an environment that is totally alien from most people, but also with the events that occurred from when she was a child. You do get a sense that there is something more behind the death of Maya’s mother, especially with the flashbacks that Maya ends up having when she is cooking her mothers recipes. These snippets flame Maya’s curiosity over what really did happen and she tries to get her father and her mothers friend to tell her more of what is really happened. This is answered by the end of the book and does help give some explanation on where Maya’s anxiety and panic attacks stem from.

In some ways, Maya’s journey could go to symbolise the strains and struggles many people have, and are still going through, due to the pandemic. For me it, it helped describe some of the feelings I have and still go through. Yet, I took comfort on Maya’s own journey and it helped remind me that finding something I enjoy doing can help in dealing with these feelings. It also demonstrated the importance of talking to someone, whether that is a professional or a person who loves and cares about you, which can help you process what is going on inside.

This book also has its fair share of the “warm and fuzzies” and though Maya reconnects with an old friend, I didn’t feel that this was what she needs at this point. Instead, the romantic plot line falls to the grumpy Norwegian Mikkal and Adam, one of the tour guides at the cabins. At first Mikkal comes across as the stereotypical gruff mountain (or Arctic outback) man. Yet, you quickly see how much Adam means to him and visa versa. They do there very best to try and keep their relationship away from the eye of their patrons, for reasons that are not really explained, but can be surmised. It is only when Mikkal falls ill and has to be taken to the hospital, does everything fall in to perspective for the two of them.

This book really does cover a lot of ground, but in such a way that it both makes you think and gives you hope. When I finished the book, I had felt as though I had consumed one of Maya’s currys as it had left me with a warmth inside.

The Arctic Curry Club had my emotions all over the place. One minute I was laughing, especially at the uninvited guest to the first Arctic Curry Club. The next minutes I my heart was going out to what Maya was going through, not just in the present, but what had happened in the past. It is a complex book but one well worth the read.

Should you decide to join The Arctic Curry Club, make sure you either have a lovely mug of hot chocolate by your side or a curry on standby, for this book will have you craving both.


AMAZON UK (Paperback / EbookONLY 99p) / WATERSTONES


What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome 
  • Interesting 
  • Useful 
  • Boring 
  • Sucks